Gov threatening to stop referendum on CCJ

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The Government is threatening to stop the referendum on the Caribbean Court Justice if it becomes too politicised.

The Electoral Commission is preparing for the vote which will determine whether the CCJ replaces the Privy Council as the nation’s final court of appeal.

But ahead of the referendum the government is warning against politicizing the issue

Delivering the throne speech on Thursday Governor-General, Sir Rodney Williams warned that any attempt to politicize a vote will not be tolerated.

“If it appears that any political party seeks to turn the referendum into a measure of political support, then mu government will announcing that the referendum will have to await another day,” Sir Rodney said.

His statement comes as plans are announced for a public education campaign to sensitize residents on the Trinidad-based court.

Last year, both the ruling ABLP and the opposition UPP agreed to consultations which would pave the way for CCJ to become the country’s final appellate court.

To replace Privy Council with the CCJ, would however require a constitutional change, which would have to be approved by voters in a referendum.

According to the Governor-General, persons eligible to participate in the referendum will be drawn from the list of voters in each constituency on the ABEC registers.

The referendum is expected to be conducted later this year.

In 2015, Dominica followed Barbados, Guyana and Belize and became the fourth CARICOM state to accept the CCJ as its final court of appeal.

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